Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
Defending those in desperate need
Maintaining code of honor
Mexican drug cartels / assassins
About the fall of mankind to worldwide depravity
What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Answer
What is JUSTICE? What does the Bible say about it? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer
Wife who dies of cancer / Where did CANCER come from? Answer
Liam Neeson … Jim Hanson
Katheryn Winnick … Sarah Pennington
Teresa Ruiz … Rosa
Juan Pablo Raba … Maurico
Jacob Perez … Miguel
Grayson Berry … Customs Officer
Lelia Symington … Tina
Luce Rains … Everett Crawford
Dylan Kenin … Randall Brennan
Chase Mullins … Mark
Alex Knight … Carl Neeham
Dominic Cancelliere …
Esodie Geiger … K9 Officer
Vic Browder … Highway Patrol Officer
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Stonehouse Motion Pictures
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Open Road Films, owned by Raven Capital Management
Jim Hanson (Liam Neeson) hasn’t been the same since his wife passed away. He’s been in bit of a rut, both financially and motivationally as well. He is on the verge of losing his Texas ranch adjacent to the Mexican border that he and his wife shared for many years, and finding work for an aged, retired U.S. Marine has been difficult for Jim (though he gets by with some odd jobs here and there).
One day while driving his truck along the U.S./Mexico border, he spots a young woman and her son trying to flee Mexico through the fence. They seem to be in a hurry, with cuts on the faces and desperately out of breath. Jim offers to provide them assistance when suddenly some Mexican cartel members approach the fence. They tell Jim to give them the woman and the boy.
Jim refuses and a gun fight ensues. Unfortunately, in the ensuing battle, the mother, Rosa (Teresa Ruiz), is mortally wounded and asks Jim, with her last dying breath, to take her son, Miguel, to his family that lives in Chicago where he will be safe from the Cartel. Jim is slightly hesitant at first, but in time, comes to believe that he is the best person to take Miguel his family.
“The Marksman” is a story of two people from different parts of the world that must come together to beat the odds if they are to get Miguel safely to Chicago before the Cartel catches up to them.
Having seen Liam Neeson in numerous films over the years in a variety of different role categories, I believe Mr. Neeson needs to take a step back and reevaluate some of the movies he agrees to film. “The Marksman” is one of them. I respect Mr. Neeson. He’s a very fine, accomplished actor. But the character he portrays in “The Marksman” is too one-dimensional, as are the Cartel members he encounters. Even the supporting characters, like his stepdaughter/Border Patrol Agent, really didn’t have much purpose or had very little screen time, with the exception of the young boy Jacob Perez who plays Miguel (his performance was strong).
I could forgive the lack of character development, to a certain extent. What troubles me is the lack of identity the film has. It’s not an action film (there’s VERY little action for an action film, apart for some in the middle and a moderate amount in the end). It’s not a thriller, and it doesn’t fill in enough of the blanks to qualify as a drama. So I was scratching my head at the end asking, “What in the world is it?” A film without a firm identity is like a book without words in it… empty. To the film’s credit, the plot is fairly straightforward, but then again, afterwards I was writing down on my clipboard: “too many unanswered questions.”
Violence: A man is seen slightly bloodied and hanging in chains from an overpass (not dead, but being asked for information by the cartel). Rosa is scraped in the face by the Border fence as she tries to duck underneath. Rosa is shot in the abdomen. A cartel boss threatens a cashier by choking her (we hear a gunshot later in the shop with the assumption the cashier was killed). A fake county sheriff pulls a gun on a character and is knocked out. Another character is shot off screen. A dog is killed on screen, and we see a character carry the corpse into a truck. A car flips over and people are killed, and others injured with blood on their faces. People are shot in the head. A man is severely wounded in the abdomen. A man is, lastly, given the choice to commit suicide or bleed out, and we hear him shoot himself off-screen.
Drugs/Alcohol: Jim is seen drinking alcohol quite a few times, particularly at home and at bars (we even see him pass out), but eventually he decides to be sober.
Other: We see a coyote eating a dead animal and then see a character kill the coyote. Jim illegally breaks Miguel out of Border Patrol custody to protect him from the cartel who are waiting outside.
Spiritual Issues: Sadly, Jim states to Miguel, in anger at one point, “There is no such thing as Heaven. Heaven is just cr*p people say to make you feel better.” Out of guilt, Jim later takes Miguel to church to allow him to pray for his mother, even though Jim doesn’t believe.
How can we know there’s a God? Answer
What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
Both Miguel and Jim find friendship in each other because each has gone through terrible trials. Miguel lost his mother at such a young age, and Jim lost his wife of many years. True, it’s good to find comfort in each other when we grieve. I, myself, have lost a few loved ones and have relied on my family for comfort. My primary source for healing, though, is the Lord. The Lord is the ONLY one who can provide the means and the strength to get through your greatest grief. It may take time, it may take patience (a LOT of patience), but the Lord does not leave, and he does not forget.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” —Psalm 34:18
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” —Matthew 11:28-29
And I look forward to the day when there is no more grief, when we will longer be in any physical, emotional or other form of pain. What a glorious day that will truly be! As Jesus once said:
“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” —John 16:22
When I stepped into the theater, I approached the box office and greeted the attendant and when she heard I was going to see “The Marksman” she remarked, “Wow, very cool. I heard it’s very violent from the trailers.” Well, looking back, as far as action films go, yes the film has SOME action, sure, but not as much as a majority do these days, so I cannot place it in that category, but what action that is present will be concerning to some parents, so caution is advised about this as well as the use of vulgar language and alcohol. There is also the fact that, honestly, the characters are just one-dimensional, and frankly, I think Liam Neeson deserved better. He’s a more accomplished actor. Perhaps over the past 13 years I’ve become too critical and perhaps that’s what I’ve been with “The Marksman.” I’ll let you be the judge though.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.